Managed Marketing for Growth-Driven Businesses

10 Ways to Promote Your Business Locally

February 25, 2021
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When you own a small business, it can be tough to market yourself on a tight budget. Luckily, there are plenty of inexpensive marketing tactics you can use on a local scale. Keep reading for 10 ways to promote your business for free or at a low cost in your local area. 

local seo

1. Local SEO

Optimizing your business for local search is important now more than ever. Nearly half of all searches on Google have local intent, for instance, “Starbucks near me,” and 89% of people conduct a mobile search for a local business at least once per week. So, you’re most likely missing out on potential customers if you’re not using local SEO. Here are a few tips for increasing local search visibility:

  • Optimize your Google My Business Page
  • Add location-based keywords to titles, headings and body content on your website. 
  • Publish pages or blog posts specific to your local community.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

Ultimately, practicing local SEO generates a high return on investment by putting your business in front of your target audience as they conduct an online search. For a more in-depth description on how to develop a local SEO strategy, check out our blog post here

2. Ask for reviews

Collecting reviews is one of the easiest and most profitable investments you can make for your business. Positive online reviews build trust in your business, boosts your SEO ranking and overall visibility, and influences potential customers to pick you over the local competition. You can ask your customers in-person or through email, or add a pop-up to your website to encourage people to leave feedback.

However, the most cost-effective way to capture online reviews is by setting up a review funnel. This process puts the review collecting process on autopilot by sending your customer automated but personalized email straight to their inbox. To learn more about setting up a review funnel, read our blog post here

local seo google my business

3. Set up a Google My Business profile

Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to manage your business’s online presence (and you don’t even need a physical storefront!). Having a Google My Business profile set up will improve your online visibility, get you listed on Google maps (and make it easier than ever for helping potential customers locate your business!), improves your SEO, and more. At a minimum, your Google My Business profile should have your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation and link to your website. 

promote your business locally

4. Work with local referral partners

Forging partnerships within your industry is a highly valuable marketing tactic. These relationships can provide small business owners with access to marketing know-how, technology, and customer bases that they may not have been able to secure otherwise. To get started, reach out to a local business related to your industry (but not a direct competitor, of course!) and ask to team up for a mutually-beneficial proje ct or marketing effort. This can be done in-person through some kind of special event or online with a webinar or promotional giveaway. Be sure to clarify your expectations in regards to the partnership, and engage with and vet a few different businesses before deciding on the best option. When done correctly, partnering with another business means twice as much reach to a whole new audience related to your niche!

5. Post on social media (and be sure to use hashtags!)

Platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook will have localized hashtags that people use to talk about events and topics applicable to their area. To reach potential local customers, consider looking into local groups and hashtags made for your city or town. Another important aspect of social media is networking with nearby businesses in your industry. Seek out neighboring businesses or businesses that are associated with you in some way, and give them a follow! For example, if you hire another business to renovate your office or cater an event, follow them and give them a shout out. And if they have a promotion, you can share it with your followers and provide a good testimonial for their services. Chances are, they will return the favor in the near future!

6. Give back to your customers

Any program that encourages customers to increase how often they buy, how much they buy, or inspires their friends to buy, is a fantastic way to boost sales and grow a loyal customer base.

Customer referral program

Offer existing customers a free product or service, or some other reward for referring new customers. Remember, word-of-mouth is powerful stuff, and customers who are excited to share their experience and pass along a referral is incredibly valuable. 

Loyalty program

Customer loyalty programs are an easy way to increase sales while fostering brand ambassadorship. Not to mention, this marketing tactic allows you to make more money without having to acquire new customers, because the main focus is getting your existing customers to 1) increase purchase frequency and 2) increase average purchase amount.

7. Join a local group (e.g. networking group, chamber of commerce)

By joining local networking groups, you’ll be able to connect with other business owners, promote your business, and gain plenty of referrals. These groups can be industry-specific, your local Chamber of Commerce, a referral group (whose sole purpose is to generate leads for your business!), a small business accelerator, or even a Facebook group. These groups are an affordable way to gain invaluable support and advice from smart and passionate people. When you first join, focus on giving value to others, ask lots of questions about their own business, listen deeply, and ask how you can help them. Once you start providing value to others, they will give value to you in return.

8. Distribute a press release / Get in touch with local publications

Contact journalists at local publications like newspapers and local print or online magazines to see if they would consider doing a feature on your business (the smaller the publication, the more likely you’ll be featured!).This type of coverage is free, and will give your company the trust and credibility that a paid advertisement doesn’t provide. If you have a special announcement about your business, you can also write a press release, which takes all of the effort off the publication’s plate. Once you’ve had a few features in smaller publications, you can work your way up to larger, regional ones. 

9. Use email marketing

The best email newsletters are chock full of valuable tips relevant to your audience that they can use to solve their problems, achieve their goals and ultimately improve their lives. A consistent, high-quality newsletter lends authority to your business, keeps your business front of mind, and fosters long-term customer loyalty. To resonate with your local customers, keep your emails personal and apply a local focus. Think about highlighting local news and traditions. If you have an email list with a larger geographic spread, consider segmenting your list by location. For more on email marketing, check out our blog post Answers to Frequently Asked Email Marketing Questions.

10. Geo-targeted Facebook ads

Facebook has the ability to target specific consumers based on interests, job descriptions, and even specific geographic locations with advertisements. This is particularly helpful for small local businesses because you have the ability to hyper-focus your campaigns towards a niche audience, rather than putting big bucks towards a general, widespread campaign. Putting a few dollars each day towards a geo-targeted Facebook campaign as little as 10 miles around a set point can be highly effective. Hubspot has an interesting and easy to understand course on the “dollar a day” strategy, which can be found here.

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